You deserve a smart workspace that foster focused work. So does your team. Your email inbox is the opposite of that. If you’ve read my post on why the habit of zeroing out your inbox is killing you’re productivity, then you know that things need to change. If you haven’t read it, you might intuitively understand that the flood of spam and distraction needlessly sap your energy for focused work. So here are some superior options to help you kick the habit.
1. For a small but effective step towards improvement, start by changing your home page – Make the first tab that opens on your browser, something other than your inbox.
Preferably, it should be something that gets you focused on your goals.
- Try the Momentum extension for Chrome. After installing it, in each new browser tab you open, you’re greeted with a beautiful background image and a single question prompting you to set your intention for your day. It will then remind you of your daily goal, each time you open a new browser tab.
- Use your calendar -Unlike the often overly generic to-do lists, your calendar can anchor your activity and plans in time. Simply start scheduling in various tasks to your daily calendar. This is a great reminder to help you manage your limited capacity and focus on what matters most.
2. Regroup around your favorite project management app
If you aren’t actively using one already, and if you’re ready to step up your productivity game and, consider these apps.
- Trello – The classic to do, doing, done system. You’ve probably heard of it. You may have used it before, but are you actively, managing your workflow in it? Or did you go back to living in your inbox? Consider this an invitation to get back on the good foot of project management.
- Kanbanchi – If you’re already a Trello Black Belt, you might want to check out Kanbanchi, as it offers several different views to explore and collaborate on your workload.
- Asana – While not as visually captivating as the previous recommendations, Asana makes up for it with its robust feature set and template capabilities that make it perfect for teams with repetitive project types.
3. If you’re working with a team and want to improve together
- Start a Slack community. Unlike email, Slack is invite-only and therefore a focused communication platform that filters out most the noise that haunts your email inbox. It’s incredibly versatile and simple to set up.
4. If you’re ready for your black belt, you’re already using Slack and Asana, you’ve probably also learned that great apps by themselves do not produce great results. You need great processes and methods to wield them effectively to grow your business – Here’s your next company-wide initiative to launch:
- OKR’s – The acronym stands for Objectives and Key Results. This is a hybrid system of strategic goal setting and management strategy used by Google, Intel, and countless other earth-shaking companies that can transform you and your team by cultivating healthy habits including
- Effectively communicating together, providing clear instructions, putting thoughts to paper and getting confirmation
- Developing an understanding of the limits of your teams and your personal capacity for work. Most often I see managers who never assess their team’s capacity, expect the moon, and blame and punish the team when they don’t get it done yesterday. This is bad management – and a lot of good-willed managers and business owners do it every day.
- Review and grade performance related to actual goals – No bull – no peer review fakeness. It teaches everyone on the team to be honest and reflective in assessing their own efforts and results.
All of these are better options than living in your Inbox.
Of course, it’s one thing to know the ingredients, it’s another to know how to make the recipe work.
If you’re ready to start improving your company’s productivity from thought to profit, schedule a cup of clarity consult and let’s talk about your business challenges.
I hope you find this content helpful and I welcome your comments.